Martha, who features in today’s Gospel, is a worrier; she frets over too many things.
I sympathize! I’m a worrier too. I can fret over the smallest things. And I still do. But over the years I’ve learned to catch myself worrying and I say to myself “There you go again … what are you like!” And I can smile.
There’s more room now inside me. More space for the Spirit too. A wiser person than me told me once: “Excess worry blocks the life of the Spirit”. She was right!
But let’s face it there is a lot to worry about these days. No need to list the reasons here. We all know them.
So, it’s worth knowing what is worth worrying about and what is not. And even the things that are worth worrying about need balance.
Change is happening so rapidly that it can and does overwhelm. There is an unfolding of the familiar that’s very unsettling. We can all feel it, I think.
We need to anchor ourselves. I like that word “anchor”. It evokes stability in storms. It implies that we have within us stabilizing resources so that we don’t get blown away. This is what Mary can teach us. She anchors herself in Christ’s teachings.
I came across this little poem, by the late William Stafford, which made sense. It’s called: ‘The way it is.’
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.